Julia Shiplett to perform at SUB Comedy Night


Photo by Jenni Walkowiak

Julia Shiplett was named one of TBS’ 2018 Comics To Watch as part of the New York Comedy Festival.

Emily Urban

Julia Shiplett will be performing at SUB Comedy Night on Thursday in the M-Shop. The biracial Chicago native and feminist has performed at comedy festivals and acted on season 2 of HBO’s “Crashing.”

Shiplett’s editor originally wanted her to take an improv class so she could think faster on her feet when talking with advertising clients. She had other plans.

Shiplett had found an all female stand up class and convinced her editor to let her take that instead. She fell in love with stand up comedy and has been performing ever since.

“I think that it is honestly a little bit addictive,” Shiplett said. “Having a good show and connecting with a room full of people you may not know is an awesome feeling. I think once you experience that a lot of people want to experience that again and again. I also think for me it is a really good creative challenge.”

Shiplett found her comedic scene when she moved to New York a little under five years ago. She had a community where people supported one another and she could find people with common interests.

Recently, Shiplett was able to perform at Carolines on Broadway, where she got to perform a full 45 minute set as well as choose her own hosts and openers.

Comedy was always on Shiplett’s radar, but she originally saw herself as more of a comedic writer. She pursued a degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked in advertising after college. Even now, Shiplett continues to write satire pieces for publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker and McSweeney’s.

“I think a lot of comedians maybe first and foremost identify as writers,” Shiplett said. “Then they started performing later on, and I fall into that category. I am someone who really [likes] good jokes. I like surprising phrases. To me, wording matters a lot in how I deliver my jokes and my material.”

Shiplett feels her comedy is personal and confessional, reflecting what’s going on in her life as well as recent events in the nation. Her comedy is geared more towards her position as a feminist and towards women. Recently, she has explored topics such as mental health and therapy.

“I certainly do need everyone to agree with what I am saying on stage, but I do like to present potentially new ideas to people in a funny format,” Shiplett said. “I think when things are funny, they are more digestible.”

Shiplett’s future in comedy includes a book of personal essays and satire pieces she hopes will catapult her into more comedic writing for TV or other outlets.

SUB Comedy Night with Julia Shiplett takes place Thursday at the Maintenance Shop in the Memorial Union. The doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Further information can be found on SUB’s website.